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28/03/2019 6:00 am  

BEREA, Ohio -- Johnny Football fell and landed in the Dawg Pound. Cheap Wholesale Authentic Jerseys . Johnny Manziel, college footballs most entertaining player with the reputation for pulling off magical plays, was selected with the No. 22 overall pick in the NFL draft on Thursday night by the Cleveland Browns, who hope they have finally found their franchise quarterback. Manziel sat patiently in the wings at Radio City Music Hall, waiting nearly three hours for his name to be called as everyone from Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers to the leagues official Twitter account tweeted about him squirming in his chair backstage. Then the Browns, who made two earlier trades, made another one with Philadelphia and selected the polarizing and electrifying 6-footer. Manziel walked onto the stage to meet Commissioner Roger Goodell and rubbed his fingers together, a signature "money" gesture that endeared him to some fans and annoyed others. In Cleveland, some Browns backers celebrated Manziels selection like the team had just won the Super Bowl. Of course, the Browns have never even made it to the NFLs showcase event and havent won a title since 1964 -- a golden anniversary that will arrive in December. But Manziel brings hope to a city that has witnessed little but losing since the Browns returned as an expansion team in 1999. Manziel now must back up the hype around him. "The team obviously wants to win and wants to win now," Manziel said on a conference call. "Ive been a winner everywhere Ive been. Im ready to work extremely hard. " Manziels size scared away some teams, but he believes his playmaking skills translate to the pro game. "Im used to that by now," Manziel said. "Ive been scrutinized and nitpicked. Ive proven it from my first year to my next and I always get better." Manziel is expected to compete with starter Brian Hoyer, who showed promise last season before suffering a knee injury. Manziel brings an instantaneous buzz and national relevance to the Browns, who have made the playoffs just once since 1999 and have lost at least 11 games in each of the past six seasons. Cleveland is on its third coach in three years, but Mike Pettine is inheriting a team with potential and five Pro Bowlers on its roster. And now, hes got Manziel -- and the circus that will come along with him. The Browns have to hope the No. 22 pick doesnt haunt them again. Thats the pick they also used on quarterback Brady Quinn, whose first-round slide in 2007 was similar to Manziels drop, and they also drafted Brandon Weeden two years ago. He was released in March. Theres no doubt Manziel will help sell tickets and his jersey will be coveted by every young Cleveland fan. But what remains to be seen is if he can win. Earlier, as Manziel waited, the Browns made two trades and selected Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert with the No. 8 pick. With the first deal of the draft, the Browns moved down five spots and acquired Buffalos No. 9 pick and first- and fourth-round picks next year. Cleveland then swapped picks with Minnesota, acquiring a fifth-rounder before taking Gilbert, who they plan to play on the opposite side of Pro Bowler Joe Haden. "Hes long. Hes fast. Hes explosive. Hes a playmaker," general manager Ray Farmer said of Gilbert. "Hes got great arm length. Hes got the speed. Hes got the ball skills. I know some people have questioned his tackling. We cover like Browns, tackling was good, but it doesnt necessarily need to be great." Gilbert scoffed at critics who say hes a weak tackler. "Ive heard it before," he said. "Its something that doesnt bother me at all because I know I can tackle." Gilbert wasnt sure the Browns were that interested in him until he was getting ready to head to New York. "Its a dream come true," Gilbert said in a conference call. "I became friends with him (Haden) not too long ago and hes a great guy and Im looking forward to playing with him." The 6-foot, 202-pound Gilbert had seven interceptions last season, returning two for touchdowns. "I pretty much can do it all," Gilbert said. "Im an all-around cornerback." Cleveland entered the most important draft in its expansion era with 10 picks, ample ammunition for Farmer, promoted when president Joe Banner and GM Michael Lombardi were fired in February, to add talent and depth to a team that went 4-12 last season and fired coach Rob Chudzinski. During the winter, the Browns, who entered the draft with five of the first 83 picks, did an exhaustive study on quarterbacks with Louisvilles Teddy Bridgewater reportedly emerging as the top candidate. In the end, Manziel was their man. Cheap Wholesale China Jerseys .com) - Roosevelt Jones had 19 points, seven rebounds and seven assists to lead No. Cheap Wholesale Jerseys Free Shipping . Adding playoff teams. Monitoring instant replay from league headquarters. Possibly creating a set of guidelines to prevent locker-room bullying.BUFFALO, N.Y. -- During his 95 years, Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson went from fan to "Foolish Club" member to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, enjoying every step along the way. The NFL lost the person regarded as the leagues "conscience" on Tuesday, when Wilson died at his home around 1:40 p.m. Bills president Russ Brandon announced Wilsons death at the NFL owners meetings in Orlando, Fla. His death resonated among the owners -- from old to new. Wilson played an integral role in establishing the modern game, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009. In 1959, Wilson founded the Bills in helping establish the upstart American Football League, whose owners were dubbed "The Foolish Club" for having the chutzpah to challenge the NFL. Some five years later, Wilson played an influential role in the framework for the merger of the leagues. "Ralph Wilson was a driving force in developing pro football into Americas most popular sport," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said. "Ralph always brought a principled and common-sense approach to issues." Patriots owner Robert Kraft released a statement saying how grateful he was for how Wilson welcomed him to the NFL, adding: "I will miss him." So will Bills Hall of Fame coach Marv Levy, whom Wilson lured out of retirement to serve as the teams general manager from 2005-06. "He wasnt my boss, he was my friend," Levy said. "Deeply saddened to hear about his passing. He meant so much to the game that both of us revered, and to the community of Buffalo and beyond. Its quite a loss, and hes going to be remembered so fondly by everyone who knew him." The last surviving member of the original AFL owners, Wilson died at his home in Grosse Pointe Shores, Mich., said Mary Mazur, a spokeswoman for the Wayne County medical examiners office. He had been receiving home hospice care. Wilson had been in failing health since having hip surgery in 2011. Though he spent much of his time at his home in suburban Detroit, he attended Hall of Fame induction weekends. He was a regular at Bills home games since founding the franchise, but had not been there since going to one game in 2010. Wilson gave up daily oversight of the club on Jan. 1, 2013, when he relinquished the presidents title to Brandon. "No one loves this game more than Ralph Wilson," Brandon said. "Its very tough. What hes meant to the entire organization. Hes our leader, our mentor our friend. How he loves his players and loved our community. Special guy. They just dont make them like Ralph Wilson." Wilson earned a well-established reputation for loyalty to fans and the stands he took against franchise relocation. Though he butted heads several times with late Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis, it did not affect their friendship. As Davis said in 2009: "There were a lot of guys saying (Steelers owner Dan) Rooney was the conscience. But certainly, Mr. Wilson was more of a conscience of the league." Wilson also earned the respect of his players. Bills Hall of Fame running back Thurman Thomas struggled with his emotions when discussing Wilson. "With Mr. Wilsons passing today, it hurts," Thomas said. "So Im going to miss him, without a doubt. He used to call me his favourite son." Wilsons Bills have never won a Super Bowl. They came close in the early 1990s, when the Levy-coached and Jim Kelly-quarterbacked teams won four consecutive AFC championships, but lost each time. The Bills have not made the playoffs since 1999 and their 14-year post-season drought ranks as the NFLs longest active streak. Running back Fred Jackson said Wilsons death provides the team new focus to end that drought. "We want to continue to cement his legacy," Jackson said. "We want to honour him, and a great way to honour him is going out and winning a lot of football games." Wilson never lost his sense of humour. In 2010, with the Bills 0-5, Wilson began an interview with The Associated Press with an apology. "I want to apologize for this phone system," Wilsoon said, with a familiar chuckle. Cheap Wholesale NFL Jerseys. "Its almost as bad as my team." The future of the team is now in the hands of Brandon and Wilsons second-in-command, Bills treasurer Jeffrey Littmann. For the meantime, the Bills are expected to be placed in a trust before eventually being sold. Wilson expressed no interest of leaving the team to his family. He is survived by wife Mary, daughters Christy Wilson-Hofmann, who serves as a Bills consultant, and Edith Wilson. Theres also niece Mary Owen, who serves on several NFL committees while working as the teams executive vice-president of strategic planning. Kelly has expressed interest in buying the franchise and has previously said hes assembled a group of investors. Kellys health, however, has become an issue this week. He is expected to have surgery for a second time in a year following the recurrence of cancer that his wife described as aggressive and "starting to spread." Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula is also considered a candidate to purchase the Bills and keep them in Buffalo. That doesnt remove the possibility of outside interests making offers and relocating the team to larger markets such as Los Angeles or nearby Toronto. The Bills future in Orchard Park is secure for the short term. The team negotiated a 10-year lease in December 2012 with the state and county to continue playing at Ralph Wilson Stadium. The agreement includes a provision that essentially locks in the Bills through the first seven seasons. The franchise would have to pay US$400 million if it decides to leave before 2019. The team then has an option of buying out the remaining three years of the lease for $28 million. Under Wilson, the Bills produced 10 Hall of Famers, including himself and Smith. The others were Kelly, Levy, Thomas, O.J. Simpson, offensive linemen Billy Shaw and Joe DeLamielleure, receiver James Lofton and receiver Andre Reed, who will be inducted this year. Born in Columbus, Ohio, in 1918, Wilson moved to Detroit three years later when his father, Ralph Wilson Sr., took a sales job at an auto dealership. The father turned to insurance and in the mid-1930s landed a deal with Chrysler Corp. Among Wilsons first moves upon taking over his fathers insurance business in 1959 was selling his minor share in the Lions and joining up with Lamar Hunt and Bud Adams to help found the AFL. In 1964, Wilson travelled to the Winter Games at Innsbruck, Austria -- where he slept on the floor of a reporters room because all the hotels were booked -- to help broker the AFLs landmark TV deal with NBC. Wilson still carried influence with Goodell, who leaned on the Bills owner for advice, and among current NFL owners. Shahid Khan reached out to Wilson for advice before completing his purchase of the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2012. "Given his legacy as a builder and visionary, I imagine Ralph was able to relate to my dream to one day join him as a team owner," Khan said. "Ill never forget his kindness and will always treasure the letter he wrote welcoming my family to the NFL." Wilson wore the "Foolish Club" badge with honour. "What a damn fool I was," he told the AP in 2009. "But I didnt care. I just wanted to own a team." In 1998, Wilson received the "Order of the Leather Helmet" from the NFL Alumni Association for his contributions to professional football. Wilson always maintained a healthy perspective in regards to what mattered when it came to football, including his place in the game. When asked about the fragmented state of football in the mid-1990s, Wilson joked: "Its such a great game, itll survive us." Funeral arrangements have not yet been determined. AP Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner in Orlando, Fla., Associated Press writers Mike Householder in Detroit and Carolyn Thompson in Buffalo, AP Sports Writers Mark Long in Jacksonville, Fla., Paul Newberry in Atlanta, Larry Lage in Detroit, Dave Skretta in Kansas City, Tom Withers in Cleveland, Teresa Walker in Nashville and AP freelance writer Mark Ludwiczak contributed to this report. ' ' '


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